Many composers whose music we perform are geniuses, and we love playing their works. But they represent a certain type of person with a certain vision of the world, namely white European males. As we expand our repertoire, we also want to give voice to pioneers and those of our time who give us a different perspective on music through their backgrounds and cultures. We bring these all together so that it enhances the concert experience. We learn from all of these composers in an even more meaningful way, collectively.
I’m very excited that our transformative season means that you’re going to discover new works with us, with the best sound, the sound of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Those will include William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony; Mary Lou Williams’s Zodiac Suite; works by Clara Schumann and Louise Farrenc, pioneers of the 19th century; the continuation of our exploration of Florence Price’s music; and works by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Lili Boulanger, Julia Perry, and others. This is going to be a unique season of discovery.